How to eat an Ugli Fruit

Elizabeth loves sports and healthy food.  Sometimes, particularly in the car, she will want to list all the foods that we can think of that are healthy.  I would define her diet as that of two extremes: she’s almost on a raw foods diet, except for her love of bacon, ham and pork.  Really, she eats other things too, but she LOVES fresh fruits and veggies and is very interested in them. She is very interested in anything related to sports too. I think the two seemed to link together for her, as they quite often do.  It’s definitely a little odd to see such a young child so interested in a healthy lifestyle, but it’s wonderful as well!

With this in mind, one book that we regularly read is Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert. This book is filled with colorful artwork and interesting facts about fresh fruits and veggies – right up Sandra’s alley.  For pre-schoolers, I love that it reinforces the alphabet.

The fruit featured for the letter U is the ugli fruit. The name is actually pronounced “oog-lee fruit” in Jamaica where it originates, which interested Elizabeth quite a bit.  I found some of the fruits at the store the other day and she asked if we could get one. Generally, she and Paul push their own kid-sized carts around in this store, filling them with fresh produce and cans of olives, because that is fun, of course! Since she is requesting healthy foods, how can I say no, so I said yes, of course.


Our ugli fruit before I peeled it.

Today we tried it.  Apparently it can just be peeled and eaten like an orange since it is a citrus fruit.


Peeling the ugli fruit

One can also juice it, or slice it through the equator and sprinkle sugar on top as you would a grapefruit since it’s flavor is a little bitter.  We chose to just peel it, and then pull the pulp out of the membranes because they are pretty tough.


Peeled. You can see how the membranes are pretty thick.

The fruit, which is imported here in New York and may not have been picked at it’s peak (a fortunate and unfortunate custom I became used to while in the Peace Corps because now I only want peak-picked produce – say that 5 times fast), was too bitter for me to eat. Nevertheless Elizabeth ate half of it, which is actually quite impressive because the ugli fruit was pretty big.

I remember doing special Around-The-World celebrations that included foods like star fruit and kiwi when I was in school, I hope that my continued support in trying new things allows Elizabeth to makes those kinds of memories too.  Next up, a dragon fruit maybe?  I’ve never had one of those.

Share your thoughts: What fun foods have you tried with your kiddos?



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